If nothing else, Conflict Tourism, the fourth album from the award winning Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts, proves the durability and fluid nature of folk music. Whilst at it’s heart are some very familiar and often traditionalist building blocks, they also pack in so much more, pop sensibility, sugary freak-folk vibes, Americana licks, forward looking programed electronica and much more. And it is this ability to move with the times whilst still embracing Folk’s core values that ensures the genre has a future.
I said, if nothing else, but of course there is so much more going on here than a flag waving call for the genre’s modernisation. As the title suggests it is a meander through the ideas that surround conflict in the world today as well as the past, from straight out war zones to smaller small town dramas.
Forget the mawkish attempts of the recent past by fashionable, bearded indie fusionistas to push folk music through a chart bound hell ride, yes Mumford and the Whale I’m looking at you, Conflict Tourism is Folk music moving forward at it’s own pace, naturally, effortlessly and without losing site of where it comes from.